Pilot Careers

Most of Epic’s graduates, like those pictured here, become airline pilots. However, there are many types of pilot careers.

Have you been thinking about starting a rewarding career as a professional pilot? With the growing worldwide pilot shortage, choosing a pilot career is smarter than ever.

There is an old saying: “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.” How would you feel if your office or work place was located in the cockpit of an airplane, turbo prop, small jet, airline jumbo jet, or any other type of aircraft while being thousands of feet up in the air? That is the ultimate feeling of flying and freedom. Not only that, pilot salaries have been soaring, too.

If you have ever wanted to learn to fly and become a professional pilot, now may be the perfect time to do so. There is a substantial need for many different types of certified professional pilots, from commercial airline pilots to more unusual pilot careers.

If you are interested in earning a pilot certificate, there are a few questions you need to be asking yourself:

  • Do you know what type of pilot you would like to be?
  • Do you know about the type of pilot license you will need for your particular pilot career path?
  • Have you ever researched the many different types of pilot jobs and pilot careers that are currently available for FAA certified pilots?

Pilot Career Options

We created this brief list on some of the more popular and well known pilot career options that are available for certified pilots.

  1. Major Airlines – Become a commercial airline transport pilot and fly all over the world for major airlines. There are more than 5,000 airlines worldwide, and with pilots retiring in record numbers, this remains the number one career for pilots.
  2. Regional Airlines – Become a domestic commercial airline pilot for a regional airline carrier. Many pilots prefer this, because it requires fewer overnight trips and keeps them closer to home.
  3. Corporate and Business Aviation – This type of commercial pilot usually gets to fly smaller, high-end, corporate jets and turboprops for corporations, businesses, and even for the rich and famous.
  4. Cargo Pilot – A cargo pilot delivers parcels and packages for small and large cargo companies such as FedEx and UPS.
  5. Charter Pilot and Air Taxi – A charter pilot is basically a pilot that flies people to specific destinations, hence the name ”Air Taxi.” You can operate your own private charter company or work for a large number of other charter airlines.
  6. Ferry Pilot and Aircraft Salesmen Pilot – This type of pilot delivers newly purchased aircraft to the new owner’s destination. With plane manufacturing at an all-time high, this is a growing area.
  7. Flight Instructor – Also known as a CFI, or certified flight instructor. This type of pilot career allows you to teach aspiring pilots, new pilots, and veteran pilots on the intricacies of flying. CFIs can teach at flight schools, operate as private instructors, teach at aviation colleges, teach at airlines, and much more.
  8. Medical and Air Ambulance Pilot – Also known as EMR pilots, these types of pilots fly for various medical situations. They fly for extreme emergency situations, life flight, organ deliveries, non-emergency patient transport, etc.
  9. Government Service Pilot – Government pilot careers allow a pilot to fly for the many different agencies for the federal government. Some examples of agencies that hire pilots – FAA, DEA, FBI, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, National Guard, Coast Guard, Transport, and more.
  10. Law Enforcement Pilot – Just about every arm of law enforcement employs pilots to fly helicopters, airplanes, and jets. Local, state, and federal pilot careers are available to those who qualify and can pass the rigorous background screening processes.
  11. Military Pilot – We already know what military pilots have to do as part of their job description, but keep in mind that not all military pilots are directly commissioned for combat. Military pilots get to fly the latest state-of-the-art aircraft, get paid to train, accumulate flight hours towards their civilian-rated pilot licenses, and get paid while on active duty upon completion of their advanced pilot training.
  12. Fire Fighting Pilot – Pilots can get paid to fly aircraft to put out fires. This type of pilot career is very dangerous, work is sporadic, and it takes extremely knowledgeable and experienced pilots to get the job done as safely as possible. Some pilots will work as fire fighting pilots along with having another job as a pilot, such as a CFI, private charter, or commercial pilot.
  13. Agricultural Pilot – Also known as an AG Pilot or crop duster, these pilots get paid to fly and release chemicals over farmland. These types of pilots are sometimes hired by local governments to assist with spraying chemicals for pest and weed control.
  14. Banner Towing Pilot – This type of pilot career can best be defined as “low and slow,” meaning you will be flying low to the ground and at slow speeds while towing advertisement banners.
  15. Media and Patrol Pilot – This type of pilot usually flies around reporting on traffic, police pursuits, aerial surveillance, news media, etc.
  16. Air Tour Pilot – This type of pilot career basically takes people on flights to tour different tourist sites, attractions, and other popular destinations.
  17. Airshow Stunt Pilot – Definitely one of the more riskier pilot careers, this type of pilot performs aerial acrobatics for large crowds at events and venues, performs in competitions, and sometimes this classification of pilot also competes in aerial races.
  18. Contract Pilot – You can start your own pilot business and work freelance on a per contract basis. This means you will have to go out and find opportunities to bid on. Businesses, corporations, and governments all have a need for private contract pilots.
  19. Test Pilot – That’s right, you can be a “crash test dummy” of the skies – without the crashing. This type of pilot career covers a lot of different sectors as you could be testing aircraft for aircraft manufacturers, private businesses, the military, federal government, and other aviation related businesses that may need test pilots.
  20. Astronauts and Space Pilot – With recent aviation and aerospace technological breakthroughs, there will be a growing need for space-trained pilots in the next several years that are qualified to take commercialized commuter flights into outer space with civilian and non-civilian passengers on board.
  21. Drone Pilot – A drone pilot is the newest type of pilot career on the horizon, and it is anyone’s guess how this field will expand. Currently, this field of unmanned aircraft is on the rise with regard to pay as new uses are being applied with everything from real estate (bird’s-eye views of properties) to law enforcement (searching for lost people in dangerous terrain) to tourism (looking inside an active volcano).

Which pilot careers grabbed your attention?

After reviewing just a few of the many types of pilot careers listed here, have any of them caught your eye? Once you have an idea on which type of pilot career path you would like to follow, your next steps will be to find out which type of pilot license or pilot certificate you will need in order to be able to work in your chosen pilot career. Perhaps you are already interested in working for a particular airline. Once you know what career path you want to follow, the only thing left to do is to pursue your training and pursue your dream job!

About Our Flight School

Epic Flight Academy is an FAA/EASA certified flight school located at the Jack Bolt Municipal Airport in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. We have trained more than 5,300 pilots from 80+ countries over the past 18 years of operating our international flight school and boast a 99% hiring rate for our graduates. We own a fleet of 30+ new Cessna state-of-the-art pilot training aircraft and employ 60+ full time certified flight instructors. Our stellar safety record and perfect location in sunny Florida are just a few more reasons why Epic Flight Academy has proven to be one of the top international pilot training schools worldwide where students come to learn to fly.

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42 thoughts on “Different Types of Pilot Careers”

    • Hello!

      You can become a pilot at Epic Flight Academy!

      Here are the requirements to apply to Epic Flight Academy:

      -Have a valid passport
      -Have high school diploma or equivalent
      -Be at least 18 years old
      -Have proof of funds for training
      -Read, write, and speak the English language proficiently

      If you are interested in joining Epic we would like to ask you to please complete the following form so that we can see if you are eligible for training. Thank you!

      Prequalification enrollment form: https://epicflightacademy.com/prequalification-enrollment/

      Reply
    • We would love for you to join us to pursue your dream of becoming an airline pilot!

      Here are the requirements to apply to Epic Flight Academy:

      -Have a valid passport
      -Have high school diploma or equivalent
      -Be at least 18 years old
      -Have proof of funds for training
      -Read, write, and speak the English language proficiently

      If you are interested in joining Epic we would like to ask you to please complete the following form so that we can see if you are eligible for training. Thank you!

      https://epicflightacademy.com/prequalification-enrollment/

      Reply
    • Abby,

      There is no cut off to the age you can begin flight training, as long as you are able to pass your FAA medical exam.

      If you fill out the form at this link, one of our Admissions Representatives will contact you with information and options to attend our flight school.

      Reply
  1. I am a pupil who is 14 years old and my goal is to become a commercial pilot .To travel to countries such as North and South America to be a millionaire and I want people to love me and have faith in me.Portia Molapi a gal.

    Reply
    • Hi Portia – don’t give up on your goals! You have a few more years until you can train with us at Epic Flight Academy, but we will be here when you’re ready!

      Reply
  2. hello my name is Jose i want to put an airplane in new York and want to be famous like my father please call me in (910) 465-7896

    Reply
  3. I’m 18 years old and am interested in getting my pilots license would it be possible to start at this age or would I have to wait till I’m older? Is there a certain age I have to be for that?

    Reply
    • 18 years of age is old enough to being pursing your goal of becoming a pilot. To get started, please fill out the information on this form and an Admissions Representative will contact you to help you enroll.

      Reply
  4. I am interested in giving tours, banner flying, and aerial shows. I want the benefit of being able to my family places to visit. Is this a possibility to make money and have regular work hours? Thank you. I would like to try first to see and investigate or go to places where these things are done and get a feel for it before making the decision as I would want this as my career. Thank you very much.

    Reply
  5. am still in high school in grade 9 being a pilot has been a dream to me since grade 7 but still i just feel like changing my option is not right i love this career

    Reply
  6. I have wished to become a pilot for a very long time now but was wondering if their were careers for pilots that flew more old fashioned planes? I am more interested in the less modern planes. Very intrigued on the idea of having the wind in the hair experience.

    Reply
    • That’s a good question! Even if you do pursue a career in old-fashioned planes, you will still need to be licensed by the FAA. A good first step to achieving this goal is to reach out to our Admissions Team by providing the information on this form. Best wishes to you!

      Reply
    • When you are a pilot you will be able to seek employment with a variety of companies who fly all different types of planes.

      Reply
  7. Sir !.
    I would like to apply for the pilot job..n I have much more interest in having pilot job…hw can I apply….although im a B.pharmacy 1st year student?????..plz…..give me the information regarding ..hw to apply..n what are the courses to study in having a pilot job….????????

    Reply
    • Hello, a good first step to joining Epic Flight Academy is to fill out this form to connect with an Admissions Representative. More information on our various courses offered can be found here. Best wishes to you!

      Reply
    • The first step is to become a licensed pilot. If you fill out this form an Admissions Representative can help you get started on your path to becoming a pilot.

      Reply
  8. Good day! How much is the salary if I became a pilot on major airlines? You don’t need to be specific, you can just state an amount. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Some sources say the average salary is $114,00/year, but this can vary depending on several factors such as experience, the airline you work for, etc.

      Reply
  9. I have done cpl but I stopped flying since 2009. I’m thinking to start again. Could you please guide me what is the procedure for renewal of cpl and also on base of my cpl what kind of job I’ll get. I’m not very interested in CFI and also I’m not US citizen but I have my work permit to work in USA.

    Reply
    • Great! I have passed on your request to our Admissions Team. They will be contacting you shortly with more information as your request is very specific to your situation. If you do not hear from anyone within 24 hours please contact me directly at admin@epicflightacademy.com with your phone or Whatsapp number or Skype ID so we can call you to discuss your options.

      Reply
  10. Ive been interesting in being a pilot for as long as i can remember, but i want to know what i need to do to be able to get in to a career like this and the job market for it. Do you have a area on the page thats have requirements and such for the schooling and job?

    Reply
    • Of course! Let me get all the necessary information about you in order to give you specific details about your training needs and available options. Please fill out our quick contact form so we have all the info we need to provide you with discounts on pricing, student visa processing, and class start date availability. Here is the link to the form: http://epicflightacademy.com/contact-flight-school-near-me/ and I will make sure one of our Admissions Representatives contact you asap to answer your questions.

      Reply
      • To be a pilot of any kind you will first need to obtain the proper pilot training. Please fill out the contact form at this link so that one of our Admissions Representatives can contact you with information and options to attend our flight school!

        Reply
    • I am 61 years old and I have always wanted to fly a plane. I am also at a crossroads in my career. I know the an airline pilot is out of the question. But is it possible at my advanced age to become a pilot that can make a living. I am in very good shape but I would not want to become e a pilot and then not be able to fly after age 65.

      Reply
      • Yes, you can still fly for a career. It just depends on which airline you apply with and their individual requirements. A good first step to getting started with training is providing the information on this form which will connect you with one of our Admissions Representatives. Best wishes to you!

        Reply
          • Hello! We are glad to hear you are interested in pilot training at Epic Flight Academy!

            Here are the requirements to apply to Epic Flight Academy:

            -Have a valid passport
            -Have high school diploma or equivalent
            -Be at least 18 years old
            -Have proof of funds for training
            -Read, write, and speak the English language proficiently

            Please complete the following form so that we can see if you are eligible for training:

            https://epicflightacademy.com/prequalification-enrollment/

            Thank you!

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